A! Magazine for the Arts

"Betsy & Jack at the Porch Table" by Nancy Brittle

"Betsy & Jack at the Porch Table" by Nancy Brittle

2016 Women Painters of the Southeast Juried Members' Exhibition

April 4, 2016

Beginning April 8, the Women Painters of the Southeast presents its fifth annual Juried Members' Exhibition and Art sale at The Arts Depot in Abingdon, Virginia. This is the first time this traveling show is hosted in Virginia and it runs through April 30. The show features the work of more than 100 accomplished, women painters from 11 Southeastern states. The artists are all members of The Women Painters of the Southeast Association, and their exhibit consists of 160 pieces of representational, fine art.

Kicking off the 2016 exhibition Friday, April 8, The Arts Depot presents the Preview and People's Choice Voting from 5-7 p.m. During the preview, attendees have the opportunity to receive the first look at the show and vote for their favorite piece. The People's Choice winner will receive a $250 prize. The official opening ceremony and awards presentation is held Saturday, April 9 from 6-9 p.m. when many of the artists will be in attendance. In addition to the People's Choice award, WPSE awards more than $13,000 in prizes including a $5,000 Best in Show, American Art Collector's Award of Excellence, the Juror's Choice Award and awards of distinction in the categories of figurative, still life, landscape and more.

Several Depot Artists Association members and artists from the region were selected to exhibit. These include: Kim Abernethy of Boone, North Carolina; Jill Banks of Fairfax, Virginia; Susan Bradbury of Roanoke, Virginia; Nancy Brittle of Remington, Virginia; Monique Carr and Sheryl Daniels of Johnson City, Tennessee; Gayle Cooley of Roanoke, Virginia; WPSE Signature Member Artist Leslie Davis of Kingsport, Tennessee; Tracy Ference, of Abingdon, Virginia; Maria Bennett Hock of Reston, Virginia; Betsy Kellum of Powhatan, Virginia; Lynn Mehta of Alexandria, Virginia; Rita Nabors of Rogersville, Tennessee; Urlee O'Donnell of Williamsburg, Virginia; Robin Poteet of Salem, Virginia and Kim Snider of Gray, Tennessee.

"The quality of the work chosen for this exhibit is outstanding. We are so proud to present it at the Arts Depot," says Susan Yates, the Depot's arts administrator. "Viewers will see diversity in styles and genres. The show highlights representational paintings across select mediums-oils, watercolors, pastels, gouache, egg tempera by leading artists of the organization hailing from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee and from all over the state of Virginia, including Abingdon."

This year's show awards judge is Pontotoc Mississippi artist, Dot Courson. Her award-winning paintings can be found in fine art collections all over the U.S. and abroad. In the early "90s Courson studied with the late Billy Kirk- a noted and respected Mississippi artist. After studying with Kirk, she studied all over the U.S. with many of the nation's best and most prominent artists: Kim English, David Leffel, Robert Johnson, Ray Roberts, Marc Hanson, portrait artist Michael Shane Neal and landscape artists Roger Dale Brown, John Pototschnik, Dawn Whitelaw and others. Courson is listed on the Mississippi Writers, Musicians and Artists official website for "having contributed to the literary and cultural heritage of Mississippi." Her artwork includes still life and portraits, but she is widely known for her landscapes of the south. She has traveled the U.S. painting and photographing the scenery but still prefers the beauty of the southern landscape as her subject.

Courson demonstrates her unique method and style of creating atmosphere and perspective in studio painting using oils, brushes, rags and a palette knife at the Arts Depot Saturday April 9, at 9 a.m. Her demonstration focuses on how to build a painting from a reference photograph with the aim of creating a "work of art" instead of merely a duplication of a photograph. There is a $50 fee to attend the demonstration and preregistration is required.

The WPSE association is dedicated to promoting women painters whose works are representational and who live in the Southeast United States. The organization's founder and President, Eileen Course says "Women artists are growing in number. We dedicate our efforts to bringing women artists to the forefront, and we encourage members to participate in WPSE events, such as juried exhibitions and online exhibitions."

The Arts Depot extends its open hours during the WPSE exhibit, April 8 through 30. Visitors are welcome Tuesday through Saturday between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and by appointment. On May 4 The Arts Depot resumes its regular hours Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For more information visit www.abingdonartsdepot.org or call 276-628-9091.